Small business growth: Are your systems ready?

- October 16, 2013 3 MIN READ

Creating systems for your business allows you to streamline processes, manage new employees more effectively and, in effect, grow. But are your systems ready for hiring new staff?

Business is busier than ever, clients are beating a path to your door and you’re even turning business away because you can’t fit them in – after all, it is just you. A thought creeps into your mind – it’s time to expand your business.

Before you forge ahead with small business growth – which often involves hiring new employees – make sure you can answer the following questions in regard to your business processes.

1. How will they know what to do and how to do it?

You know your business well, but how will a new team member know what to do and how to do it? Even if you are hiring a professional, such as an accountant, they will still need guidance for the processes that exist outside their area of technical expertise.

  • Start by documenting your processes. Develop instructions, forms, checklists, policies or procedures in whatever form best suits your business.
  • Make sure you develop a business manual that provides an overview of your business. This will help to provide a better understanding of your business and how the processes interrelate.
  • Develop an induction process – a checklist usually works well. It should include the important information that anyone who joins your business needs to know, include the necessary stuff such as workplace health and safety. But take this opportunity to introduce your business to your new staff member, some history, your goals, the market etc.
  • Develop a training plan – this will help to streamline your training processes and have your newbie working at full speed even sooner.

These documents will help you to ensure greater consistency with training new staff, whether in-house or with your contractor. They will also help reduce the number and overall cost of errors.

2. What work do they need to be able to perform?

Once you’ve got your processes documented you’ll have a clearer understanding of what needs doing. You’ll also have a better appreciation of any skills gaps or qualifications that your new staff might need.

Using this information you’ll be able to clearly document a Position Description (or equivalent), which should include the qualifications and experience required, key tasks to be performed, the level of responsibility the position holds and what for, and any reporting staff.

A Position Description will greatly assist with your recruitment process, and help prevent poor recruitment choices or bad outsourcing experiences. This should ensure your business reaps the benefit of having an engaged and appropriately skilled team.

Want more articles like this? Check out the growth section.

3. How will they contribute to your business goals?

Quite obviously this requires you to have your business goals defined. So before you add another person into the mix spend some time to clearly identify your business goals for at least the next 12 months, including how you intend to reach these goals.

Upon commencement have a discussion with new team members about the goals of the business and their goals for the next 12 months, and explain how they relate to the overall business goals. These goals and progress towards them should then be reviewed throughout the year as part of a documented performance review.

If you are outsourcing, on top of regular communications, make sure you set regular review dates so that you can discuss key issues or changes that may impact the work being performed, as well as any performance issues or client feedback. This will help you to ensure the work they perform – and that your business relationship – continues to positively contribute towards your goals.

Got it all sorted? Address these issues and you’ll provide a much more consistent service experience across your business, no matter who is performing the work, and you’ll be developing a staff that is invested in your business success, now and into the future.

Have business systems helped to grow your small business? How?

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  • Andrew Caska

    Caska IP Patent Attorneys

    'Flying Solo opened up so many doors for us - I honestly don't know where I'd be without it"